We already know who the top two tight ends in the Eagles offense will be. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are going to be focal points of Nick Sirianni’s offensive attack, and that was evident in the team’s first preseason game.
The bulk of the targets went to tight ends Thursday night. 11 passes went the tight ends’ way.
For most of training camp, it felt like Richard Rodgers would slot in as the third tight end behind Goedert and Ertz. He’s a veteran guy who knows how to play the position at the NFL level. But with most journeyman vets in this league, there isn’t much room for growth. Rodgers is what he is at this point in his NFL career.
As for the fourth tight end on the depth chart, Tyree Jackson, there’s no telling how high his ceiling is. The former quarterback transitioned to tight end this offseason and has worked to perfect his craft with various coaches. He has the prototypical athletic build to dominate at the position, standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 249 pounds.
Jackson had his opportunity to contribute during the Eagles first preseason game. While he wasn’t perfect, the receiving capability is clearly there. He saw the most targets of any pass catcher with five, while hauling in two of those targets for 32 yards.
Will he be ready to contribute this season? Probably not. But he’s certainly worth keeping on this roster over Rodgers.
It may feel natural to place a guy like Jackson on the practice squad, but with his build and seemingly endless potential, he could be a hot commodity on the waiver wire. The team shouldn’t risk losing a hidden gem like this.
Rodgers won’t provide anything to this team, unless one of the starters go down. But even then, Rodgers isn’t an exciting talent that can cause matchup problems or block at a high level. With Jackson, he’s a matchup nightmare even in the early stages of his tight end transition.
Having Jackson on the gameday roster will allow him to learn and develop at a faster rate than he would on the practice squad. Seeing how Ertz and Goedert operate during a game is invaluable experience. It can’t be replicated in practice. Not to mention the off chance that he actually gets an opportunity to contribute on the field.
Jackson is not a lock for the roster just yet. Seeing how he continues to grow through the remainder of the preseason and training camp will be key. He’ll be one of the most intriguing players to keep an eye on throughout the rest of summer.
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